‘Turkey frees 1,200 soldiers detained after coup bid’
Turkey has freed 1,200 soldiers detained after the failed military coup, a top prosecutor said on Saturday, in its first major release of suspects amid global criticism of the crackdown. Those released were privates, Ankara’s chief prosecutor Harun Kodalak was quoted as saying by Turkish media, adding that the authorities were seeking to swiftly sort out those who had fired on the people from those who did not.
There have been fears that many of the over 7,400 soldiers detained in the wake of the coup were young conscripts who had no idea what was going on. “We are committed to moving forward with the legal process diligently,” said a Turkish official, confirming the prosecutor’s comments on the release.
“No innocent person shall be punished. And the courts will make those decisions.”
Meanwhile, Turkey on Saturday pushed with a sweeping crackdown against suspects accused of taking part in the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, extending police powers to hold people in detention and shuttering over 1,000 private schools.
A week after renegade soldiers tried to oust him with guns, tanks and F16s, Erdogan’s government has rounded up or sacked tens of thousands of perceived state enemies, including almost 300 officers of the guard shielding his Ankara palace.